Newswise — Athletes from across the globe who have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease will compete in an Olympic-style competition at the 2016 World Heart Games this spring. This two-day competition will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina at Charlotte Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation’s Marion Diehl Park on May 20 and 21. The games are an excellent opportunity for athletes to engage in a range of sports events that are consistent with their health status and capabilities.

“A cardiac condition need not interfere with an active and socially independent life,” said F. Stuart Sanders, M.D., FACSM. “With proper training and supervision, cardiac patients can engage in sports for fun and physical activity as well as competition.”

In addition to providing a safe athletic competition for cardiovascular patients, the World Heart games helps cardiac patients and their families understand that through appropriate return to regular physical activity and lifestyle changes, cardiac patients can restore their confidence and incorporate the “joy of sports” back in their lives. World Heart Games events include:• Bocce• Table Tennis• Golf Putting• Bowling• Prediction Walk, Jog, Bike, Row and Swim• Basketball• Game of Knowledge• Volleyball• Tennis• Softball throw• Soccer Shoot• Golf Tournament• Pickle Ball• Frisbee Golf• Beanbag Toss

Are you an athlete who would like to register for the games? To participate, a patient must complete a waiver, submit relevant medical information and ask their doctor to complete an advisory form. For more information or to register for the games, please visit the American College of Sports Medicine’s website.

Although the games are designed for cardiac patients or people with cardiovascular risk factors, health care providers are encouraged to get involved, too. Physicians, nurses, therapists and other professionals can talk to cardiac rehab patients about their physical activity abilities and options, and should encourage them to register for the World Heart Games. Click here for more information.